In Dow Jones news, the Dow was up slightly after another tough day for oil prices and increased chatter about an interest rate hike.
With the U.S. Federal Reserve set to meet March 14-15, CME FedWatch projects a roughly 90% chance that the central bank will raise interest rates.
Let's look at the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,858.19; +2.46; +0.01%
S&P 500: 2,364.87; +1.89; +0.08%
Nasdaq: 5,838.81; +1.25; +0.02%
Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Friday's economic calendar.
Dow Jones News: Dow Remains Flat as Markets Await February Jobs Report
The Dow Jones climbed just 0.01% after a lackluster round of economic data. Markets are largely taking a wait-and-see approach on the timing of the next interest rate hike.
Chair Janet Yellen said last week that the only potential roadblock to a rate hike this month would be a weak February jobs report. Although weekly jobless claims increased last week, it was still the 105th consecutive week that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits remained below 300,000. Investors will now turn their attention to the February jobs report, which will be released tomorrow morning by the U.S. Labor Department.
Once again, the oil markets dominated the headlines. The WTI crude oil price today dropped over 1% and fell below $50.00 per barrel. Brent prices slumped 0.9%. Traders are growing increasingly concerned that supply is outpacing demand. That sentiment weighed down shares of both Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX).
On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration announced that domestic crude inventory levels swelled to a new record. Meanwhile, recent statements by Saudi Arabia cast doubt on the stability and sustainability of OPEC's massive deal to cap excessive production.
Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors recently attended the Windsor Energy Consultation at Windsor Castle. Energy leaders from around the globe gathered to discuss geopolitics and a number of factors impacting global oil markets. The biggest factor of all?
Trending: Why Warren Buffett Buys Apple Stock
None other than President Donald Trump. Read Dr. Moors' latest insight on the crude markets, right here.
But the big story is Greece.
The country is quickly running out of money, and an economic crisis in Greece could fuel a serious problem for investors' portfolios. The nation's debt load has exploded since the Great Recession in 2008, and Greece has received three bailouts from the European Union. Even worse, the requirements placed on Greece to receive bailout money have stifled its economy.
What happens next and what should you do to protect your portfolio? Here's everything you need to know.
Stock Market News and Top Stocks to Watch Today: March 9, 2017
- Shares of Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP), the parent company of Snapshot, were up slightly despite news that a member of the S. Securities and Exchange Commission has raised concerns about the company's voting rights structure. Commissioner Kara Stein said the agency should "focus on how some innovations may prove detrimental to investors." Stein is specifically referencing Snap's decision to only provide shares that had no voting rights to investors when the firm went public. Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald said last week that the IPO was rigged against ordinary investors. Here's what you need to know.
- Shares of Staples Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) slumped more than 5% after the retailer fell short of both earnings and profit estimates. Staples also reported that same-store sales were off 1%. The company experienced a quarterly decline in sales due to ongoing competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). Here are the other stocks to watch from today.
- After the bell, look for additional earnings reports from Ulta Beauty Inc. (Nasdaq: ULTA), VeriFone Systems Inc. (NYSE: PAY), Zumiez Inc. (Nasdaq: ZUMZ), and Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Employment Situation at 8:30 a.m.
- Baker Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
- Treasury Budget at 2 p.m.